Most of us are still in the “Purple Zone” and over the last year romance has taken a back seat to survival, yet there is an oft-overlooked rich history on this day of courtship and kindness. Work issues still abound, but let’s take a moment and be grateful for the old and the new. Here, we celebrate the spirit of the day and truly, the employee of the year.
Whatever the history of Valentine’s Day, in many ways, the holiday has become emblematic of one central concept — companionship. And though romantic companionship often takes center stage with its adornments of thorned roses, red cellophane, and heart shaped chocolates, companionship can be so much broader. Whether it be for those in our work place, professional organizations, neighborhoods, or communities, being a companion or friend to those in need is something worth celebrating collectively this Valentine’s Day.
In that general spirit, and in the midst of COVID-19, we found a perfect example of that companionship. Principal Henry Darby of North Charleston High School works two jobs, as a principal and on the Charleston County Council, but when he saw his students in desperate need of support to buy food and clothes to be able to go to school, he decided to get a third. Principal Darby found a night job in August of last year, stocking shelves in a department store from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. and gave all his earnings to the children in his school. He has been doing this three days a week during COVID-19 and was found out by one of his students. The local paper discovered his kindness and ran a story on him. Since, he has been awarded the highest civilian honor his state could bestow, The Palmetto Award. Principal Darby was never in it for the award; he has lived a life of service and when he saw need, he found a way to contribute.
This Valentine’s Day let’s be inspired by those who are working to solve problems, and let’s carry their torch forward. Make a difference in a real way in your work and in your community.
From all of us at GT Employment, Happy Valentine’s Day!